[NWSL]The Chicago Red Stars were awarded the first pick in the National Women's Soccer League college draft, a closed-door event be held Friday at 9 a.m. ET at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis. The top prospects are Boston College's Kristen Mewis, who got the taste of the pro life with a brief appearance for Australian W-League team Canberra United FC, and Christine Nairn, who led Penn State its first NCAA Division I final in 2012.
According to U.S. Soccer, which launched the league, the draft order was determined with assistance from a panel of experts and agreed upon by all eight clubs. The panel ranked the strength of each club based on their allocated players and conducted a weighted draw.
The draft order is as follows:
1. Chicago Red Stars
2. Washington Spirit
3. FC Kansas City
4. Sky Blue FC
5. Boston Breakers
6. Western New York Flash
7. Seattle Reign FC
8. Portland Thorns FC
The draft will consist of four rounds with each team receiving three minutes to make a selection in the first two rounds, and five minutes to make a selection in the final two rounds. After the first round is completed, the order will remain the same for the following three rounds, with Chicago selecting first to start each round.
That is a departure from the league's previous announcement that the draft would be conducted in a “snake” format.
The was considerable discussion about the imbalance in the allocation of national team players. Portland, which received Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair and Tobin Heath, will select last in each round.
Fourteen college seniors, including Nairn and Mewis, were named to the 2012 Soccer America MVP teams. Stanford's Alina Garciamendez, who plays internationally for Mexico, will play for Washington, the club to which she was assigned as part of the allocation of U.S., Canada and Mexico national team players.
Soccer America MVPs First Team Seniors
G Haley Kopmeyer (Michigan), Sr.
F Zakiya Bywaters (UCLA), Sr.
D Alina Garciamendez (Stanford), Sr.
D Ines Jaurena (Florida State), Sr.
D Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall (BYU), Sr.
F Caroline Miller (Virginia), Sr.
M Christine Nairn (Penn State), Sr.
M Erika Tymrak (Florida), Sr.
Soccer AmericaMVPs Second Team Seniors
G Adrianna Franch (Oklahoma State), Sr.
M Megan Jurado (San Diego State), Sr.
F Tiffany McCarty (Florida State), Sr.
M Kristen Mewis (Boston College), Sr.
D Rachel Quon (Stanford), Sr.
D Ally Miller (Marquette), Sr.